Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup Soccer Defeat for US vs Ghana; what went wrong?

It is 524 PM EST and Ghana just eliminated the US in the World Cup, and I start writing my blog-post re the event. I now offer some constructive criticism re the US performance. I estimate such to be more valuable compared to praising the US for what they did well.

The US showed itself to still be the good old USA, same as the USA has been for dozens of years, in that its players showed themselves to be too shy and too cautious, when it comes to dribbling the ball past a defender with the ball on the ground. They never attempted to beat the defenders on the air-dribble, dribbling the ball with the ball not touching the ground.

Dribbling the ball past a defender with the ball on the ground, is an art I have already explained in internet pages, even though it would have been to my advantage to keep such things secret. The art of beating a defender on the dribble, is mental. To succeed you have to plan your practices in a thoughtful intelligent way, and to succeed you have to make the right chess-like moves against the defender during the game.

The US weakness in terms of dribbling past a defender, resulted in the US making poor quality passes and taking poor quality shots, because the alternative of attempting to dribble past the defender for all practical purposes did not exist for the US.

The US repeatedly on shots kicked the ball straight at the goalie. What is even harder to understand is that the US taking shots, repeatedly shot the ball right into the bodies and feet of the Ghana defenders. It was as if the coaches fans and administrators wink their eye at blocked shots because nobody knows if the blocked shot would have been a good shot if it had not been blocked, result being players feel safe being scored for having had a shot blocked.

On passes the US was excellent in terms of one touch passing. The US showed itself to be world class when it comes to making a difficult one touch pass with balls coming at the passer in a difficult way and the recipient of the pass in a difficult position. At the same time, inexplicably, the US was repeatedly inaccurate in aerial passing when the US player had established control of the ball before passing it. US aerial passes tended to be too short and too low.

I estimate that the US had been spending too much time practicing one-touch passes while ignoring and taking for granted passes and shots made after the passing/shooting player has established control of the ball. With one-touch passing, the momentum the ball has before it reaches the passing player is used to propel the ball to the pass recipient. Not so (to anywhere near the same extent) when the player has established control of the ball before passing it.

Reminds me of how after I had been emphasizing difficult right-footed moves (I'm left-footed) practicing the air-dribble, and emphasizing sideways shots as opposed to straight ahead shots, to my surprise all of a sudden my right footed shots shooting sideways had become better than my left footed shots shooting straight ahead (I am left-footed).

The US repeatedly showed themselves defective in terms of the anticipation of movements by players on the opposing team. As a result of such lack of anticipation, shots were blocked, passes were intercepted, the ball was lost on the dribble. The movements that went unanticipated were movements that were quite predictable.

The American players who were on the receiving end of the chip type aerial passes in the penalty box, appeared to be weak in terms of the ability to gain control of such passes or shoot or pass on one touch off such passes. Seemed the players in positions that receive such passes are too light or too short and the US needs some height and weight in those positions.

Repeatedly A US player who had the ball out in the open with nobody near him and plenty of time, would simply without delay, pass or shoot the ball. Seemed that they would have been wiser to get closer to the pass recipient or the opposing goal before passing/shooting.

Generally the US gave the impression of being strong in the things that a coach can teach to a team and weak in terms of the things that a coach cannot teach to a team. Seemed as if a plethora of self-important American coaches (this is not to condemn the current coach of the team) had overemphasized those maneuvers that a coach can teach while de-emphasizing maneuvers that are at best difficult for a coach to teach to a player. Seemed as if the US had become almost stereotypical, intolerant of atypical (not typical) persons and athletes, due to a quota mentality running amock amongst a diverse population. Seemed the egalitarian traditions of the US had suppressed individual enterprise when it comes to beating defenders and scoring.

Blog-post finished at 6:01 PM 6/26.

@2010 David Virgil Hobbs

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